Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Change and Hope

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.  (2 Cor 5:17)

What happens to us when we accept Christ as our Lord and Savior? Paul tells in 2 Corinthians that we are a new creation.  It is more than just a ticket to heaven, so much more.  God changes us.  We are not the same as we were before.  Our sin nature is gone, replaced with a new nature.  Our perspective changes, our old values are gone, replaced with righteousness.  Everything about who we are is fundamentally changed.

This is a life changing experience for all of us and this change is necessary.  Christ now lives in us.  Most of this change happens on the inside, the result of this change is what people see on the outside.  Our new perspective changes how we interact with the world, how we see things, and how we respond. 

I remember when I accepted Christ’s call and gave my life to Him.  A travelling ministry was in town ministering through music and song.  Each night for the first few nights a battle erupted in my heart when they had the alter call.  I can remember sitting in my seat, watching as others went forward, crying as I felt the battle rage within, wanting to go forward but not able to do so.  Finally, on the last night I stepped forward.

The previous nights it had been a hard, almost painful cry.  That night I cried as I went forward, but it was not the same as before.  It was a cry of peace and joy, and looking back I can also see it was a cry of victory.  The battle for my heart had been fought and won.  As I think back to that night I find myself crying in gratitude to Jesus for all He has done for me in my life.

At the time I did not understand the change that happened that night.  I knew something was different but couldn’t have told you what it was.  Now, all these years later, I shudder to think of what my life would be like if I did not have Jesus in my life.

You may be wondering if there anything that doesn’t change? 

Actually there are lots of things that don’t change. 

The bills still need to be paid, the tire is still flat on the car, strained relationships, a job you don’t like, the baby is sick, the results of bad decisions we have made in our lives, I could go on but you get the point.  Remember we have changed; the stuff going on around us has not.  We still need to deal with where we are in life.  But the good news is that we now have an advantage we did not have before.  We have Christ in us.

With our new perspective we can see things in a different light, possibilities where we did not see any before.  We have hope.  Maybe for the first time in our lives we have hope.